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Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Fast Show

I've posted about well known Fast Show character Rowley Birkin QC before. However, the other day I accidentally stumbled across a sketch I had never seen before and was blown away.

If you've never seen a Rowley Birkin QC sketch before, the first video gives you an idea of what he was on about. The second video is the sketch I stumbled across. After watching it, you'll understand why I am posting about it. What a totally unexpected and breathtaking performance!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Who am I being that my player's eyes are not shining?

Voila the first post for a new decade.

Benjamin Zander is the current conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.

He once wrote: "The best review I ever got was not from a music critic, but from my father. He was 94 years old at the time and completely blind. He attended a Master Class I gave in London and sat there in his wheelchair for about three hours. When it was over, I went to speak with him. He lifted up his finger in his characteristic way and said, "I see that you are actually a member of the healing profession." It seemed to me the highest accolade."

In this inspiring talk, he explores what we might all learn from music's inherent capacity to inspire.

My favourite part: Zander was playing Chopin's 4th prelude to a group of schoolchildren. At the end of the performance, everyone burst into rapturous applause. Spontaneously, Zander too stood up from the piano and applauded. So there they were, the children applauding, Zander applauding. And then he stopped and asked, "Why am I applauding?". To which one child responded, "Because we were listening."

Grab a cup of tea, and breathe out for twenty minutes.